Study of Life: Freedom From Judging

Jul 8, Jul 15 6 hours with break
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At a Glance

Judgmentalness is the irritation that is the nature of the ego. It expresses an unhappy heart and intolerant mind. With practice we can free ourselves from this harmful negativity. We can make our hearts the dwelling place for the Divine Generosity.

  • Time: 9am-3:15pm PT
  • Duration: 6 hours with break
  • Format: on Zoom
  • Teacher: Gayan Macher
  • Eligibility: open to all
  • Questions? Contact us for questions about registration, eligibility and scholarships.

Freedom From Judging

A friend of the Beloved is generous like the sea, Whose favors bless every creature alike.. Affectionate like the sun, Whose light is spread for everyone…
Abu-Saeed Abil-Kheir

This two part series will help establish non-judgment as a conscious practice.

  • In day one, we learn two orientations for ceasing to judge others.
  • In day two, we explore freedom from self-judgement – the shift from the inner critic to the inner Friend.

Day One: Freedom from Judging Others

There comes a time after we have continually practiced the virtue of not judging, when we see the reason behind every fault we notice…  We become more tolerant, more forgiving.
Hazrat Inayat Khan

For the mystic, judging others is a distraction from the true goal of life.  Judging adds negativity to the world, and is toxic to our own hearts.

In this day we will explore two types of practice:

  • The practice of intentional compassion
    We are intolerant when we have not seen the deeper cause of people’s behavior, and tamed our own reactivity.
  • The practice of purification and healing
    We are intolerant of people whose actions touch a wound in us that has not been healed.

Day Two: Freedom From Harmful Self Judgment

True self examination is a beautiful, life-giving teacher. In contrast, the condemning inner voice, telling us we are “bad” or unworthy, is life depleting and limits transformation. As our mental ecology changes, the inner companion becomes the Friend. Now, we are in harmony with ourselves, and step into a whole new day.

During this day we will learn:

  • to recognize and understand the destructive inner critic; and
  • orientations for dismantling mental patterns of self-judgment.
[There is] our attitude toward ourself: whether we treat ourself as a friend or as an enemy….
Hazrat Inayat Khan


Gayan dives to the personal depths of the human condition and soars high on the expansive wings of inner freedom. I have been deeply touched, in a lasting and beautiful fashion, by his love, wisdom and embodiment of life’s purpose. ~Auriella

It is rare to be with someone as ‘clear’ as Gayan. He is not hampered by ego needs. His presence with others is sincere and nonjudgmental.   ~Roy

Gayan supports the soul in answering its true questions. It is so obvious to see how people have grown with their work with him. To be witness to such a process is humbling and uplifting at the same time..  ~Mary Azima

The Study of Life

Gayan offers a program series on the understanding of life, and of human maturation that is possible only through life’s experience. We see that the world is not meant to be perfect. But in trying to make it so, we become beautiful and life becomes sacred.

What is required of us is an honest following of life's law. Nothing in this world is more important than the knowledge of human nature and the study of human life. ~ Hazrat Inayat Khan

The Practice of Inner Guidance

During the afternoon sessions we practice attuning to guidance. In this process, Gayan works with someone who is in touch with their “burning question”—a heart-felt desire to understand something more deeply. With Gayan’s support, they learn to deepen contact with the light of knowing coming from within, learning to hear the voice beneath incessant thinking. This is done in the presence of the rest of the group.

There is special value in practicing inner guidance in a group setting. On the surface our situations are unique, but as we look further, we recognize an underlying unity in our deepest questions. Secondly, and most importantly, witnesses observe how guidance functions. There are specific qualities we cultivate that are conducive to the revelation of meaning and truth.


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Gayan Macher

Gayan Macher

Gayan is a companion and guide to those who are called to the courageous path of love. He has practiced and taught the universal Sufism of Hazrat Inayat Khan his entire adult life. In addition, he has studied Buddhist practice, the Diamond Approach, and psychology, where he explored emerging understandings of the formation of the ego.

Gayan leads group retreats and has guided scores of individual students. He collaborated with Pir Zia Inayat Khan in designing Suluk Academy, and taught at Suluk for eight years. Along with Taj Inayat he created Sufi Retreats, and then New Rain, which became laboratories for the process of awakening and spiritual maturation.

A specialty of his work is leading Inner Guidance Groups, a process in which people learn the art of listening to the voice of truth and understanding coming from within.

Gayan also has a 40-year career as a consultant to executives of organizations, having worked with numerous Fortune 500 companies as well as non-profits of all sizes. Being a confidant to people in positions of significant responsibility has given him a front row seat for the study of leadership and human nature.

Among Gayan’s great loves is music. He plays guitar, and as a singer-song writer has recorded two CDs of original songs.

You can listen to this music here >

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Program schedule is listed in Pacific-Time. If you need help converting to your local time zone, use


9:00 - 11:30 am PT
Morning Session
12:45 - 3:15 pm PT
Afternoon Session


9:00 - 11:30 am PT
Morning Session
12:45 - 3:15 pm PT
Afternoon Session
< Back To Program

In the library

On Listening
  • Authors: Gayan Macher,
  • |
  • Themes: Spiritual Path, Truth, Witnessing,

If life is to have meaning, if guidance is real and we wish to find it, we must be sincere in our readiness to listen. We must want to hear what is in our hearts, and what has grown silent due to lack of attention.

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